What is a Nostr Relay?

A Nostr relay is a server that facilitates the sending and receiving of messages on the Nostr network known as events. It acts as a bridge between clients, which are the software applications that users interact with to send and receive messages, and the Nostr network itself.

The Nostr network is a decentralized messaging platform that utilizes public key cryptography to enable secure and censorship resilient communication. It uses this to ensure that the identity of the sender cannot be forged.

When a client wants to send a message on the Nostr network, it first encrypts the message using the public key of the intended recipient. It then sends the encrypted message to a Nostr relay, which broadcasts it to the rest of the network. Other clients on the network that have a copy of the recipient’s public key can then decrypt the message and read its contents.

A Nostr relay also helps to ensure the privacy of the sender by obscuring their identity. When a client connects to a Nostr relay, it does so using a pseudonym, or “profile,” which is a unique identifier that is not tied to the client’s true identity. This allows clients to communicate anonymously, as their true identity is not revealed to the rest of the network.

In addition to facilitating the sending and receiving of messages, a Nostr relay also stores a copy of all the messages that pass through it. This allows clients to retrieve and read old messages even if they were not online when the messages were originally sent.

Nostr relays play a crucial role in the functioning of the Nostr network. They enable the secure and private exchange of messages between clients and ensure that the network remains decentralized and resistant to censorship. If you are interested in using the Nostr network for private communication, you can connect to a Nostr relay to begin sending and receiving messages.

You can find a full list of relays on nostr.watch.

Scroll to Top